Citius, Altius, Fortius

The Rio Olympics has finally ended.

It has become another year where many legends and history was created.

I believe that Malaysia is one of the nation that has created history. The Malaysian athletes has performed way better compared to the previous years.

Malaysia won its first medal in cycling.

Malaysia won it first silver medal in diving.

For the first time Malaysia won more than one silver medal in badminton.

And in this Rio Olympics, Malaysian athletes won the most ever medals. The medals that they have brought home to the nation are almost half of the total medals that Malaysian athletes have won since the nation participated Olympics in 1964.

We may not have won the first in the Games, but we have achieved many ‘firsts’ in our own nation’s history.

Despite the major improvements that we witness of our Malaysian sportspeople, there are many who still criticizes them. For not winning a gold medal. For losing out to their competitors. The worst is there are Malaysians that hope our athlete doesn’t win a gold medal so that the current Government wouldn’t be able to claim credit for it.

These people who have criticized the Malaysian athletes so much are definitely against the spirit of sportsmanship.

Many forgot or didn’t even know that Olympics aren’t only about winning the gold medal. If one understands the Olympic motto, ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’; Latin words that means “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. The founder of International Olympic Committee, Pierre de Coubertin has expressed his ideals that: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

It basically means that the athletes have to compete with the spirit of Olympics which is to keep improving themselves, scoring better results. Just as many motivational speakers or writers that has kept on focusing on focusing on self improvement rather than comparing oneself to others.

After all, the Olympic motto does not mean “Gold, Silver, Bronze”.

Again, this Olympics and I am pretty sure it is probably one of the most united periods for all Malaysians. I was having a meeting during the Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong played in the badminton men’s doubles final. When Datuk Lee Chong Wei played against Lin Dan, I was in the middle of a discussion and during the final, I was in an official dinner. In the meeting and discussion, we stopped what we were doing and watched the game before we continue. In the dinner, the emcee kept updating the results to the crowd.

Whether it is public live screenings, mamak stalls, restaurants or just simply watching at home; there are so many Malaysians who stopped what they were doing and cheered for the Malaysian team.

At that moment of time, true Malaysians don’t care whether the athlete is Malay, Chinese, Indian or any other race. We don’t care which state are they from. All that we care is Malaysia to perform in the Olympics.

There are even people that don’t know about the sport, joined to cheer for Malaysia.

It is sad though that some irresponsible politicians tried to politicize sports in this precious time when we could have used it to keep on uniting Malaysians.

One Member of Parliament from Penang complaining how RTM have didn’t screen the live game of the badminton mixed doubles finals; when little that he know that as a matter of fact the game was delayed in Rio. And one of his comrades has tried to play the racial issue of the Malaysian athletes.

Putting aside all these irresponsible people, I believe all Malaysians are proud of our athletes. Despite not winning a gold medal, they have proved that they lived up with the Olympic motto, ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ by improving their performance.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” As long as we move ourselves forward, I believe one day, the Olympic gold medal will become a reality.

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